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#1
Old 02-26-2009, 04:19 PM
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Is Lowe's out of their mind??

Ugh so I've gotten myself a new little house. Taking my time to get moved in since there's some repair work to be done. One of the things that needs done is to get new carpet in each of the new bedrooms.

Well my mom and I went down to Lowe's last weekend and picked out some nice but moderately priced carpet ($1.62/sqft). We paid $40 to have a guy come out and measure the rooms since we were going to have them install it. Guy comes out, does his thing. Says the total yardage is like 38 sq yards and he'd be faxing the number to Lowe's so they could draw up an estimate.

Lowe's just called with the estimate. $927! What the hell? When I asked about it, I was told that about $630 of that was the materials(the math doesn't add up to me..). The rest was labor fees (removing old carpet, hauling it away and installing new carpet) as well as some dumb ass $52 'mobile home' fee. Because the walls are built the same as a normal home or something. Needless to say I'm beginning to wonder if I should take my business elsewhere.

Does this seem extremely expensive to anyone else? My mom told me they got their nearly 3000 sqft house in California recarpeted for $5000 less than five years ago. But I've never even dealt with carpeting before so I don't know if this is normal or what. So maybe someone who's more up to date and knowledgeable in carpeting can give me the low down.
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#2
Old 02-26-2009, 04:50 PM
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We had our whole house done last year and it was about $4000 total for all the house as I recall. Our home is about 1700 SF but that includes bathrooms and kitchens which we did NOT have carpeted but we did have new vinyl floor put in them. So I would estimate we had about 1400 SF carpeted or so. So I would estimate the carpet cost portion was about $3000.

We also spent the money to get a good quality carpet but I don't recall what it was a square yard. You material cost also should include a pad for underneath the carpet, transition plates between carpets and wood/vinyl floors, etc.

You should realize that you pay for the waste too. Carpet if I recall comes in like 9 and 12' widths. So if they run it in a room that is say 15' wide it would require a seam and there may be a fair amount of waste if they can't find another spot to put the remaining carpet. This becomes even a bigger issue if the carpet has a distincitive pattern.

But off the top of my head I would say less then $1000 to do your house is probably reasonable. But I have only done carpet in this house so who knows. You can always get another estimate which will help alleviate any concerns you might have.
#3
Old 02-26-2009, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelSoft View Post
I was told that about $630 of that was the materials(the math doesn't add up to me..).
Adding in sales tax, it worked for me (well, based on 40 sq yards and 5.6% tax I got $615.86)

Also, Lowes has been running this ad on TV lately. Might wanna ask them about it.
ETA that ad is for installation only. By that they mean, you'll have a big pile of garbage when their done, they won't move your furniture and they won't do the stairs for that price.

Last edited by Joey P; 02-26-2009 at 04:53 PM.
#4
Old 02-26-2009, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Adding in sales tax, it worked for me (well, based on 40 sq yards and 5.6% tax I got $615.86)

Also, Lowes has been running this ad on TV lately. Might wanna ask them about it.
ETA that ad is for installation only. By that they mean, you'll have a big pile of garbage when their done, they won't move your furniture and they won't do the stairs for that price.

Well we don't have sales tax here in Oregon so I'm not sure where they're getting their figures And that estimate already includes the $139 installation. The rest is just for removing and getting rid of the old carpet. I guess we'll have to go down there tomorrow and check out the detailed estimate and see how much we'd save by ripping it up and getting rid of it ourselves. It just still seems way too high to me...
#5
Old 02-26-2009, 06:12 PM
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You do realize that 1 sq.yd. is 9 sq.ft. so that's $14.58 a sq.yd. for the carpet. 38sq.yd. = $554.04 for the carpet. Materials may be the pad or the strips they use and the like. You can choose a cheaper carpet. As for a trailer fee, that's bullshit.
#6
Old 02-26-2009, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
You do realize that 1 sq.yd. is 9 sq.ft. so that's $14.58 a sq.yd. for the carpet. 38sq.yd. = $554.04 for the carpet. Materials may be the pad or the strips they use and the like. You can choose a cheaper carpet. As for a trailer fee, that's bullshit.
The price of $1.62 included the pad. The woman said something about tackstrips or something? Not sure since I know nothing about carpets.
As for the trailer fee, I have no clue. Not sure how the walls are built would affect the installation of carpet. This whole thing is a headache...
#7
Old 02-26-2009, 06:41 PM
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They are talking about the tack strips that they have to run along the edges, it is what the carpet is attached to. If you already have carpet laid, they sometimes reuse the strips you have but may need to replace some if they are old or broken. They will also charge more for stairs.

As others have said, the person who came out to do the estimate probably added in some for the waste, depending on the layout of the rooms. We are doing something like 780 square feet in our basement right now, we had to buy almost 900 square feet to cover waste. (You sometimes have to pay more to get closets and such done because of the width of the carpet and where they have to lay seams. ) They also might have quoted you a different padding - there are different qualities of padding and they can up the price.

You should be able to save some money by prepping the rooms yourselves. We are prepping our basement ourselves, you have to cut out the old carpet and padding and clear the room.

We also priced out Lowe's last week because of that install deal they are running, but we found better deals at local flooring specialty stores. You can usually go to a flooring place and haggle with them a little, Lowe's doesn't do that. We went to a few places, and asked them to show us what they had in the style we wanted. When they showed us the price, we asked for about 20% off that, and they gave it to us without any hassle. Give them a little drawing of your rooms with dimensions if you can, so they can figure out scrap. But anyone will have to come out to see the place before they give you a final estimate.

Flooring stores usually have better installers, as well. We find them to be much better than the installers the big box stores use.
#8
Old 02-26-2009, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelSoft View Post
The woman said something about tackstrips or something?
Tack strips hold the carpet in place. You nail down the tack strips next to the wall, then use a little tool you kick with your knee to stretch the carpet over the tack strips. The tacks that stick up on the tack strip grab the carpet and hold it into place.

Tack strips look like this:
http://issm-iseb.org/b2b/textile..._strip_35.html

This shows how the carpet is installed:
http://tpub.com/content/construc...4044_194_1.jpg
#9
Old 02-26-2009, 06:46 PM
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Home Depot tried something similar with me last year. I had to pay $50 for a guy to come out and measure. He gave me an estimate of $300-something dollars. When I went in to sign the work order a few days later, the estimate was over $1000! Looking at the form, they were charging me, among other things, a "carpet tranport fee" (i.e. bringing the carpet to my house so they could install it), a "tool transport fee" (bringing their tools with them), and some sort of extra feel due to extreme heat (mind you they were installing carpet inside my air-conditioned house!).

I cancelled the order and went to a local place who quoted me $20 less than Home Depot's original estimate for better carpet. I haven't stepped foot in Home Depot since.

Edited to add: they also moved out the furniture, ripped up and halued off the old carpet, upgraded the pad (I'd ordered the cheaper one but they accidentally brought the good one so installed it instead at no extra charge) and didn't charge me for tack strips.

Last edited by shellofmyformerself; 02-26-2009 at 06:48 PM.
#10
Old 02-26-2009, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hakuna Matata View Post
You should realize that you pay for the waste too. Carpet if I recall comes in like 9 and 12' widths.
It's 12' and 15', and occasionally 13'6".

I used to work in a flooring store. I could address the various aspects of your post, but I won't, for one simple reason:

Your flooring salesperson should be able to do it for you.

Go to a local place. Most of them actually can set you up with a better deal than a big-box, and if you look around, you can find a salesperson who can actually explain exactly what it is that you're being charged for and why.

The "mobile home" fee? Never heard of such a thing, but we have no mobile homes around here. There might indeed be a rational reason for it. If so, either the salesperson can justify it or you take your business elsewhere.
#11
Old 02-26-2009, 09:47 PM
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The big box stores are a terrible place to go if you aren't going to do it yourself. Your local independents should be able to make a better bid.
#12
Old 02-26-2009, 10:01 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. We're going to go to a local independent store tomorrow and see what we'd be looking at. I have no problem with a company trying to make a profit but this is just plain ridiculous. Cross your fingers I can find a super cute purple carpet for my daughter's room!
#13
Old 02-26-2009, 10:04 PM
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Yeah, we used to renovate houses, and lowes and HD are some of the most expensive places to buy carpet, and the carpet they have is crap. Go to a local place.
#14
Old 02-26-2009, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelSoft View Post
The price of $1.62 included the pad. The woman said something about tackstrips or something? Not sure since I know nothing about carpets.
As for the trailer fee, I have no clue. Not sure how the walls are built would affect the installation of carpet. This whole thing is a headache...
My mother had a mobile home. You'll find that everything is different and the service people you hire will specialize in mobile homes.

Bob
#15
Old 02-26-2009, 10:47 PM
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During the construction of (some? all?) mobile homes, the carpet is laid out in one (or two) long pieces and the walls are then installed on top of the carpet. This makes it a little more difficult to remove the existing carpet because they actually have to cut along the perimeter of the room rather than just pull the carpet up off of tack strips.

I don't know if it's a legit charge so you're on the right track for checking with more than one company.

Good luck and keep us posted!
#16
Old 02-26-2009, 11:34 PM
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Your local independents will usually come out to you, perform the necessary measurements, and give you an estimate, all for free. The $40 they charged is ridiculous.
#17
Old 02-27-2009, 07:33 AM
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I'd echo all of the advice about using a local flooring company, however under $1000 for the area you mentioned doesn't sound terribly unreasonable to me. I'm not sure what you were expecting. If you expect to pay $500, you're going to get crappy carpet & pad and a crappy installation job. If you were expecting $750, you might be able to find that if you shop around, but again you may take a hit on quality. There might be a happy medium between $750 & $927.
#18
Old 02-27-2009, 08:04 AM
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One suggestion ... do NOT go cheap Charlie on the pad. The difference between the cheapest & the 2nd-most expensive pad will be only a few bucks, maybe $30 over the whole job.

A good pad will make cheap carpet seem nice, while cheap pad will make a good carpet seem cheap. IOW, the most bang for your buck in nice-feeling carpeting comes from getting great pad & then adding the nicest carpet that fits your overall budget.

Usually the top-of-the-line pad is only a little better than #2, but costs 2x as much. That's for the "gotta have the Best suburban shopaholic interior decorator wannabe". So skip that one.
#19
Old 02-27-2009, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelSoft View Post
Thanks for the input guys. We're going to go to a local independent store tomorrow and see what we'd be looking at. I have no problem with a company trying to make a profit but this is just plain ridiculous. Cross your fingers I can find a super cute purple carpet for my daughter's room!
Good idea. The best thing, IMHO, for any larger purchase is to get at least 3 quotes, and have them in writing so you know you're comparing apples to apples. Also, be up front with each person doing the estimate that they are one of several competing bids.

I once had a guy come out and quote me a price to remove some dead trees from my yard. As soon as I thanked him and told him I'd get back after the other estimates came in he dropped the price $500 on the spot.
#20
Old 02-27-2009, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelSoft View Post
The price of $1.62 included the pad. The woman said something about tackstrips or something? Not sure since I know nothing about carpets.
As for the trailer fee, I have no clue. Not sure how the walls are built would affect the installation of carpet. This whole thing is a headache...
As a former carpet store clerk and Installer (I've had a few different jobs), I can tell you that older mobile home walls were not anything like standard house walls. The studs and plates were not 2x4 or whatever passed for 2x4. I saw the aftermath of a co-workers install attempt using a carpet stretcher. The footplate and the stretcher board went out through the wall. Extra caution, or alternate installation techniques were advised for mobile home work.
#21
Old 02-27-2009, 05:42 PM
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Well just got back from getting some ideas about prices from the independent stores. Apparently Lowes IS the cheapest in the area. The other stores priced their carpets on the price per square yard for the carpet, pad AND installation. The average price for decent carpet at the other stores was $35-45 a square yard but didn't include removal of the old carpet. That's well over $1300 on the low end for the size I needed. Lowes worked out to be $21 a square yard with installation costs if we ripped out the carpet ourselves. So...we just went with Lowes. Ended up being about $820.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman View Post
As a former carpet store clerk and Installer (I've had a few different jobs), I can tell you that older mobile home walls were not anything like standard house walls. The studs and plates were not 2x4 or whatever passed for 2x4. I saw the aftermath of a co-workers install attempt using a carpet stretcher. The footplate and the stretcher board went out through the wall. Extra caution, or alternate installation techniques were advised for mobile home work.
Yup, this is what the lady at Lowes explained to us. I still think it's bull that we have to pay extra for them to be more careful but whatever. I just want to get this done with so I can move in! Good news is we got the ordering part done with. Bad news is the carpet won't be in till the 12th of March.
#22
Old 02-27-2009, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelSoft View Post
Well just got back from getting some ideas about prices from the independent stores. Apparently Lowes IS the cheapest in the area. The other stores priced their carpets on the price per square yard for the carpet, pad AND installation. The average price for decent carpet at the other stores was $35-45 a square yard but didn't include removal of the old carpet. That's well over $1300 on the low end for the size I needed. Lowes worked out to be $21 a square yard with installation costs if we ripped out the carpet ourselves. So...we just went with Lowes. Ended up being about $820.



Yup, this is what the lady at Lowes explained to us. I still think it's bull that we have to pay extra for them to be more careful but whatever. I just want to get this done with so I can move in! Good news is we got the ordering part done with. Bad news is the carpet won't be in till the 12th of March.
Ok, a word of advice, if this is the original carpet in these rooms, you will need a utility knife with extra blades. Chances are, the carpet was put down before the walls were built. This is (was) common in mobile homes. You will have to cut along the base of the wall to get the carpet loose. If it is not the original carpet, and has tack strips already, if you are careful removing it, you may be able to reuse the existing strips. It would save a little on the labor and material.
#23
Old 02-27-2009, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
One suggestion ... do NOT go cheap Charlie on the pad. The difference between the cheapest & the 2nd-most expensive pad will be only a few bucks, maybe $30 over the whole job.

A good pad will make cheap carpet seem nice, while cheap pad will make a good carpet seem cheap. IOW, the most bang for your buck in nice-feeling carpeting comes from getting great pad & then adding the nicest carpet that fits your overall budget.

Usually the top-of-the-line pad is only a little better than #2, but costs 2x as much. That's for the "gotta have the Best suburban shopaholic interior decorator wannabe". So skip that one.
Cannot agree more. And I wouldn't buy my carpet from a big box store--too expensive. Independents may make cheesy commercials, but they really do tend to have the best deals.

ETA: never mind. Didn't read to the end before posting. Sorry!

Last edited by eleanorigby; 02-27-2009 at 09:56 PM.
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